August 03, 2018
Yep, I said straws.
For decades, California has led the way for nearly every idea that eventually takes hold nationally. Good and bad. The super freeways? Started in California. Vegans? California first. Sanctuary cities? You guessed it, California. Hollywood, silicon chips, bikinis, you name it, the list goes on.
And here comes the latest battle cry sweeping the nation. Banning straws. Yep. The folks in California have decided that much of what ails us is caused by the heretofore benign plastic straw.
In the beautiful coastal city of Santa Barbara, just north of Los Angeles, a waitress who gives a customer a straw is subject to either a $1,000 fine or 6 months in jail, or both. But wait, it gets better, those penalties are per straw. That means if you give 1 straw each to a party of 4, you could spend 2 years in jail and suffer a $4,000.00 fine.
Now, folks, you just can’t make this stuff up.
But let’s put this into perspective.
In California, a person with HIV who has sex with someone without disclosing their medical condition faces 6 months in jail. So apparently, the politicians in California think that giving someone a straw deserves the same penalty as giving someone HIV!
Now, I’m all for taking care of our environment, but all the experts say that straws represent a whopping .02% of all plastic trash. In other words, a minuscule percentage of our plastic trash problem — which is only part of our overall trash problem.
And, as is so typical of the far left, their good intentions often cause real hurt. For example, disabled Americans who absolutely need straws are just plain out of luck if they didn’t bring their own. The law makes no exceptions.
The hypocrisy of the left is the real problem though. They want you to believe that when they use the word “free” they’re promising more freedom. And boy do they use that word to justify a whole platform of expensive ideas: free borders, free healthcare, free college, free food, free housing, free this, and free that. What they don’t say is all their “free” stuff comes with severe limits and constraints that actually remove freedom.
Open borders mean less safety and fewer jobs for Americans. Free healthcare means lower quality and less control. Free college means low quality college with fewer choices. In fact, every time the left promises something free, what they’re really promising is less freedom.
And that’s the key to understanding the left’s idea of “free” because it’s actually the exact reverse. In fact, I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say their freedom is really enslavement to a huge government bureaucracy that requires crippling tax increases to pay for all their “free” stuff.
It’s amazing, but they just don’t see how they are robbing families of freedom when they take 70%, or 80%, or as some Democrats have suggested, up to 90% of what a family makes.
Of course, the left has no problem taxing us at devastating rates while attacking our freedom because they justify it by saying they’re doing it for our own good. Every despot in recent times — from Hitler to Mao — justified their actions by claiming they were only doing what was good for their society. “Our own good,” is exactly the excuse they used to bring down the legal force of government control over the everyday lives of individuals and justify every kind of ugly, mean, murderous act.
And this is just one sign of that kind of arrogance and hypocrisy. Outlawing straws.
John Philip Sousa IV is an entrepreneur, political activist, author and accomplished business person. John has worked in the financial services industry for over 40 years, built a highly successful marketing company, ran for congress at age 24, and in 2016 created and led the successful movement to draft Dr Ben Carson into his candidacy for President of the United States. John is author of John Philip Sousa, A Patriot’s Life in Words and Pictures and Ben Carson, RX for America.